11 December 2013

It's the future: spare parts online

The microwave had just beeped. Nina went to pop it open and get out the hopefully warm bottle of milk… but there was no pop. The button just flopped there, and the door didn’t budge. It was busted! My initial thought was: expensive repair job or expensive new microwave purchase. My second thought was: maybe I can fix it.

Getting the microwave cover off was a cinch, and finding the problem was easy too: a plastic lug had been sheared off the door button lever. How do I fix that, I thought? Maybe I could jury rig something using a screw in place of the lug, but that would probably be sub-optimal, even if I could pull it off.

Then I thought: hey, it’s 2013, nearly 2014, surely I can find this part online. I wasn’t optimistic, but I located what appeared to be a part number (5Y00AP) on the broken part and chucked it into Google, and was surprised to find this place: Big Warehouse spares.

They had my part listed, a “PANASONIC NNSD686S DOOR OPENING LEVER”, complete with multiple photos from different angles (great for piece of mind that you are ordering the right part). It was $19.04; maybe a little pricey for a single piece of plastic, but I’m not complaining because that it a lot cheaper than having to pay someone else to fix it. Delivery was $5.95.

The part arrived in a couple of days. The photo below shows the broken part on the top, and the new one on the bottom. Spot the difference?


Fitting the new part was easy enough, and the microwave was as good as new.

The morale of the story is: Big Warehouse spares is awesome, with stacks of spare parts (they claim a million!), so check them out.